Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bummer on The Time's links

We all make fools of ourselves from time to time. My faux pas excellence was committed a few minutes ago on the The Times' online.

An Afghan report had me wondering how a reader could be so overt in his praise for said actions.

Of course comment is free and extremist views are a component of polarised societies.

I clicked to find out the name of the author - a track back. Odd, there was no link on the name.

My nephew then asked me about his home work project and then the next thing I'd realised still pursuing a link, I'd clicked "recommends".

Horrified is too light a word.

So in my either paranoid state or rather frankly normal sedate demeanor for the record that clicked link from my ISP was a MISTAKE.

Now I'd only wish they'd provide ample gutter between names and "recommends". Grrr

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What do you want from Videojournalism?

Videojournalism training in South Africa

If you're looking for some of these from videojournalism, then I look forward to saying hello and getting reacquainted in 2010 here and in

  • Ability to make good films
  • To understand how to make different films appropriate to the subject
  • To be fast at turning around films
  • To get access to your subject
  • To speed up your workflow
  • To gain an insight into a relevant history of image making
  • To see how you can use videojournalism in various innovatory fashions
  • To keep up to date with new practices
  • To experience the works of those that inspire us all
  • To see what you could do differently to traditional media

If these are some of the things that by mistake or purposefully landed you here, then in the 2010 I hope you'll come back.

Because in 2010 I'll be shaping towards the above in greater detail.

For instance, there's an interview with Rob Chiu whose Fear/Love series around youth issues explains how to make stunning shot films, using DV Cams and Reds, but also how you produce short films that don't lecture to the audience.

See Rob's trailer here ( You won't be disappointed )and then see his interview on click "scene". Government's take heed.

In Collisions from the (South Bank Centre), some of the foremost experts in film and video will explain where next for the medium. I have my own interests in cine-videojournalism, but there's more, much much more to hopefully sate your appetite.

I'll be talking to a range of bodies, whom may be interested in your talents. For instance with the Olympics looming I have been having a wonderful conversation with various bodies e.g. Sports governing body at looking at new ways at recruiting multimedia journalists.

Do drop me a line to say what you'd like to hear about as well. Happy Holidays.

David Dunkley Gyimah
Senior Lecturer
University of Westminster
Artist in Residence South Bank Centre

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Videojournalism 2009

A more considered post, but a brain dump as I skirt around the playground of content, redesigning to show body of work, journalism and videojournalism.

In 2010 can he (President Obama) help us to help ourselves? The montage on viewmag

2009 saw many more international outfits become vanguard and repositories for others to express the form.

It has become many things for many people; a diffusion of indexality.

Essentially, what is it? And does that matter?

But borrowing the last comments from cultural commentator Paul Morley on Newsnight Review, next year will likely see room for greater interrogation and expertise of the form and interpretivism.

The "experts" will by default have to explain their ground; either in the brilliance of their work, don't talk, act. Or through reinvigorated arguments which increasingly will have to work across genres.

This is not new, but the ambiguities of 2009 and before will need closure, just as we search for new ideas, as marketeers and sociologist convince us of a new dawn in 2010.

Graphic journalist Joe Sacco's Footnotes on Gaza, Newsnight
- is one such example, which reminds me of Rob Chiu's Black Day to Freedom, little discussed in comparison articulating oppression and war.

Graphic journalism taking on weighty subjects in reaching out to new audiences - deprived of meaningful international news.

Rose tinted eyes
It's dangerous to look into the past, because it has no limits, but when Janet Street Porter claims the 80s, 90s TV were memorable for the experimental programmes she made, she has a point.
  • Will we in 2010 find the funding gold at the end of the proverbial recessional-media obsolesce rainbow?
  • Will the next election welcome smart mob usage? They did it with rage against the machine, a metal sound to thwart Callow's X-mania.
  • And will there be genuine stake at new ideas, rather than the recycling of old the earth is flat. Yes we know, but what's being done about it?

And before I sign off offering yuletide pleasantries, a bit of mischief digging out this clip of Strictly Come Dancing's supremo 2009, Chris Hollins.

You probably didn't know this, but he started his career as a videojournalist on Channel One TV. This was his first stab at presenting Sports News.

A Safe and prosperous Christmas.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Joy of the Dentists Chair

The searing, whining mosquito-like noise is deafening, followed by a suctioning and scrape akin to chalk screaming on a chalk board.

At the dentist, there are no auspicious welcomes; the chair sits invitingly, but any joyous thoughts of the day ahead are quickly removed.

For the first time in my life, I sat in the chair, voluntarily.

This is the second time I have ever been to the dentist; the first 15 years ago, which ended with a bit of scraping here and there.

Last week I figured it was time to check out my gnashers again.

And now, now, I know the trepidation. Fortunately, no fillings required, no loss of enamel, but some calculus in the gums.

Dentist and Diet
Big sigh! I don't eat sweets; can' eat chocolate (makes me sick) and am allergic to coffee, which is why the poor woman seated in front of me in a train, had to move.

For five whole minutes I convulsed into a coughing fit from the whiff of her brew. Er Sorry!

In South Africa, my diet became a ribbing issue: Gosh I'm one of the walking pharmaceutical police.

What does this E number mean? And why has this got Sorbitol? Believe me, if you've spent any time in Applied Chemistry taking modules in food science, you might have reason to be sceptical.

By the way if you're buying baked beans, buy the smaller tins, the beans inside are much tastier - something to do with the amount of heat and calorific value.

Back to the Dentist Chair
What does calculus mean, I enquired.

Apparently, some deposits which required cleaning otherwise overtime, it eats away at the bone tissue.

Therein followed that noise many are familiar with and a lot of toe curling. Thank goodness for the space in my mountain boots - yep it's been snowing here too.

A couple of times I had to raise my hand for the dentist and assistant to stop ; the pain, momentarily deep and excruciating.

"I'll probably book you in for another appointment under localised anaesthetic. Ah more joy to follow, including current payment for my consultation and cleaning - 160 UKP.

Wow, we are in the wrong profession.

The ridge of my teeth feel strangely sharper. Oh how I might now wrestle a wild boar, deflesh it and rip into it over a charcoaled fire. Yum!

Except that I'm hardly a meat eater, so instead I'll run my tongue, my new game, over the ridge of my strangely newly minted teeth, and write this blog, before sitting down to work.

Mmm now my mouth feels numb......

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Person of the year - video makers

Paying hommage to Time magazine, which still drops through the front door on Saturday with the must-read Joe Klein.

Somehow, Time isn't quite the same reading online. Notwisthstanding their site design, for such a bastion of journalism, leaves a lot to be desired.

Old Media, New Media is getting a fair amount of chatter again. Signs of the recession coming to an end and thus the asphyxiation of old media.

Plus Simon Cowell's trumping x-Factor ( 20 million people watching the finals) bodes well for the town crier:

Here yea, hear yea Television is the next new new thing.

Can't be wrong either as Forester unveil some recent stats that say TV is still wining out in time spent on the Net amongst the screen generation.

So what does this all mean? Well as a researcher you could argue the toss really, even with stats which don't tell the whole picture.

Frankly, there's going to be no takeover; pictures didn't do it with reading, tv didn't do it with cinema. More, a correction, using stock market language.

A correction that puts more emphasis on efficacy, ease of use and free.

Something tells me next year's going to be very interesting.

Tribute to Great British Poet Adrian Mitchell

Adrian Mitchell famously said of Poetry:

Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people

He was a towering figure [Wiki entry], but I won't pretend to be the expert or anywhere near that on him.

Above, this is from London's Royal Albert Hall on June 11 1965 called "To Whom it May Concern.

Part of my sojourn as Artist in Residence at the South Bank Centre is to capture what I would call moments and this is a treasured one behind the scenes as family and friends gather.

A tribute show was planned for the evening and with 2 hours to go, Lucy McNab, one of the producers at the South Bank, somehow got me into the rehearsals.

Not that I didn't want to go, more what would I do, as well as not intrude, as everyone quietly prepared themselves for the evening's performance.

Sasha who features in the video, very kindly leaned over to me, said hello and then asked what I was doing.

A three minute garbled spiel followed, before she concluded: "lovely!"

I hope this is OK.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lecturing - an arcane word- but how do you get the best from students?

The BBC Journalism college, now available online.

Rhetorical question! Firstly this is a personal post, I do not speak for colleagues at my university, though they may agree with some points, let alone.. you're ahead of me. Good!

Secondly, this is just a few thoughts - and thus should not be taken as academic principles.

There, disclaimer done!

But Lecturing does sound in our times a dated word. I guess it's such a fixed sign, that there's no chance of coming up with something new, though I'd welcome a stab.

Do we really lecture nowadays. Er, Yes! But it's more than that now. It is a conversation, er.., it's a swapping of ideas.... it's facilitating... I hope its something than merely standing at a lectern.

The last of these comes from a former Vice Chancellor I interviewed, who claimed with the wealth of knowledge out there, that soon lecturers will take on a facilitating role. You can watch the interview here

MAJI times
I had a four hour session with some of the Master in Journalism students from the International stream couple of days ago.

No, there was no lecture, just four hours yeah non-stop talking about everything and anything.

One of my earliest put downs by friends was : "he can chat!", so I have never been shy of that but the point I'm getting to is how to turn the study room from this evocation of a lecturer's ideas, but something where there's ongoing interaction.

Set the parameters and allow some slack.

I hope we ( Paul Majende and me) achieve this in some small way, but the bigger question is still creating an environment where students feel free to engage at any level and start a conversation.

It begs a question whether in a room of future journalists my role is about processing ideas or being part of a set of new ones. Wasn't the latter the raison detre for universities a good number of centuries ago.

I guess its a bit of both, but the US provides an interesting charlie brown blanket. Most of what we've come to know, experience and use in newer journalism has come from seekers of tertiary education and the ones that graduate.

Innovators and receivers
Granted not everyone can be an innovator. Why Not? but I love the idea of pushing against structures and looking at the wheel. Not to long though, otherwise that job for grads goes elsewhere.

I'm ruminating on this, because there's a meet up in January courtesy of Lorna from which might help us discuss the changing roles of journalism training.

Yep not about to throw the baby out with the bath water. But there is something in this; the BBC once again raises the stakes, with the public launch of its journalism college.

How do we lecture in a web 2 going on 3 age?

Google your 15secs fame- "david" yields Beckham, Lloyd and Dunkley Gyimah who??

The email entitled: "Your google Fame - David Dunkley Gyimah" surprised me as much as it had a friend.

Did you know if you google "David" you come up this. Jammy how did you do that?".

Truth I did nothing, but I had to take a look. After all who wouldn't. It wasn't as if Nigel had googled "david dunkley gyimah", just "David",

And there it was, for a fleeting google time span below "David Beckam", "David Lloyd", and "David Dunkley Gyimah," in a sea of 664,000,000

Back to reality, I'm hardly known in my own school. I admit I have shaken Nelson Mandela's hand once and stood next to Jay-z thinking what should I ask him?

But no there's nothing I do that remotely goes anywhere near what that lot do, which is why if, you're now testing out that link, you'll see nothing.

There, I have disappeared again.

If you're not on Google, you won't be read

Zach Leonard, Digital Media Publisher of the Times writing for WAN's yearly media guide says journalists need to know how to write SEO friendly copy. Between 30%- 60% of the Times' traffic comes from SEOs, he adds.

If google can't read your story, no one else will he concludes, which means for my fleeting ranking, I could have been read, that is if you were looking for "David".

What does this all mean, apart from a whiff of vainglorious exposure? I'm reminded watching Kevin Bacon on a late night show saying he googled himself to see the Kevin Bacon game that is six degrees of separation.

Not a chance here, but there is some academic bent to this, which I spoke about at a presentation last week for which that's all I can say because I NDAed.

The point is a creeping change to journalism courtesy of SEO, which stands to commit those to adopt spider-friendly vernacular.

Google - what would it do?

Google's tightly guarded "Mama's sauce" which gives you a presence in its rankings, is predicated on a number of things.

Broadly the idea of referencing, just like an academic article with its bibliography is key, as is its streamlined, perhaps even accelerated form of writing which until recently was some wierd alchemy.

Tabloids come close to the patter, accelerated meaning short sharp action key words. Yep I can hear you say, "We're doomed".

But the English language has never stood still. From the realms of hear ye, hear ye ( articles I have been looking at from 17th Century Journalism.

Then there's Addison and Steele's equitone, to a refined form in the late 1880s of a third person voice and the various narrative styles spawning any number of literary genres.

The difference this time is it's cyber. You needn't know how to spell ( yeah look at me) produce good grammar, or write a coherent sentence, so long at you know the shwei.

This is not entirely right, but it does raise issues of primacy across search engines and the extent of SEO. If you googled the White House in the 1990s you'll know what I mean. Will Bings algorithims set different standards? And what about the next engine after Wolfgang Alpha?

Who knows, other than the fact I'm intrigued and am hedging by bets that it won't be long until we'll be seeing the emergence of a brand of Super SEO journalists trampling the big establishments with news copy and their mega audience.


Sunday, December 06, 2009

Inside the core of social networks

Cine-Video Journalism Anti Aesthetic II from david dunkley gyimah on Vimeo.

A social network interdependent assembly of people, deconstructing wikipedia.

That's more or less it. No less a revelation than saying chimpanzees are carnivorous. Yes they are!

I'm given a talk to a couple of FTSE 100 companies in the coming weeks in which I'll pontoon my right-side thoughts (mainly research PhD) over the horizon.

For all what we know about Social Networks, it's not the now that interests you as intensely as what happens next? Not to mention also that Social Networks still largely promote hierarchical relations. Bummer huh! Everyone wants to be followed - the sub cult of celebrity.

The now is very simple. People who largely participate in Social Networks -that's a weird way of putting it - do so for largely purely implicitly selfish reasons. Unless you give to an NGO or cause and attend luncheons.

Social Networks are as altruistic as a burglar leaving a house with no goods. OK that's a tad glib, because it's not a static sentient. But the reason we engage in them is because we want something.

Networked Socially

I follow Mashables because I want knowledge. Everything about them is cool and rockstarish, but I'm fickle and am not a mate per se in the classic definition.

I'm not part of an inner core which is bound by different principles, but I may rise to a request if the outcome is symbiotic or favorable to my sentiments.

That is if a website I liked was about to close down and I was a big fan I'd sign a petition. But my involvement is limited.

The idea then that your raison detre is to grow a humongous following on twitter then has Freudian value, unless that is you can constantly shift the outer core to the inner. We need to know we're loved.

Small wonder Twitter now has categories.. Hmm the people I really like and those that I like and those that I almost like as well as the others and .... well! Don't get me wrong this is not an attack on Social Networks. I love em. But I'd like to understand them better as well. Read Smart Mobs.

Networked On

So what next then? Aha! My editor would wish I save these opinions for the book I'm writing.

That said quite a handful have been splattered in my posts from years back somewhere and over viewmagazine, which when I ditch CS4 will get to some designs and fresh cans of packaged knowledge.

One of the legacies of being an academic is that you're always working. I read so many books, that I becry the fact that I don't read enough. PLEASE SEND ME YOUR READING LIST

Years back I interviewed a senior intelligence chief ( ex CIA) who told me everything the CIA needed to know about Intel can be found on the web. (This interview was produced in 2002 when Flash had no controls - really must change that.)

The web, once a pipe, now a connector of people and repository of vast knowledge is onto its next star trek moment.

Google unleashed or is that relaunched the beast a couple of days back with intelligent personalised searching. Soon you really will be saying computer

"how soon till Jim turn up?"

Computer: "three minutes".

It's simple triangulate Jim's coordinates with his geoposition and as a personalised priority search the computer knows who you're talking about. Such data mining is already possible.

Conference for art & journalism thinkers

But that's not really what interests me. It's the confluence of forces within the three Rs and for adland sense you'll forgive the tautology.

  • Readers or reapers - you harvesting knowledge
  • (w)righters - those that give. Trad media had a puritanical view to this. I won't bore you with my history lecture circa 1700-2000
  • Resources - Oh how the 30% margin has changed, but making 1,000,000 UKP a month C'mon what's there to argue.

It's all changing, will continue to change and the signs for regeneration presuppose when solutions are found to any one of the variables and their problems there will be swift adaptations.

Yep we're fighting the first 21st century global knowledge war and with all wars there are always casualties and then personnel beef up, return smarter, wiser to start again. Watch the calender for China versus the US, which will dwarf the debate about journalism and who pays and who goes to the wall.

So please join me if you will, because as part of my artist in residency at the South Bank, next year I'm looking to produce a conference that takes artistic license in unravelling a parallel planet earth, already beset with all manner of changes.

The World in 2020 - and how we got there.

Now that involves a nice bit of knowledge capital to give.

David writes: watch out for information about Collisions - the coming together of some of the best thinkers in their field at the South Bank. I'm building a site and prepping film. You really don't want to miss this. Think of putting a range of TED speakers in one room

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Newer horizons video networking

This week is Creative Fight Club on in which we'll be refining the horizons for videojournalism and social networking.

And tomorrow 15 years after a bunch of people took the plunge into the unknown with videojournalism many from Channel One UK will meet for the first time at a wine bar in Charlotte street

Apologies for my absence. Time has become a commodity I need more off.

Even as I write this, there are markings and films to edit and make. But its been an eventful week and as the winter months take hold. I can't see any let-up.

An article I posted on finding a job was due to be followed up with a radio piece I heard on BBC Radio 4, in which one of the UK's leading technologist asked why the UK had nothing to rival Silicon Valley.

For the life of me I cannot find the original item on the Today programme. I break sleep at 6 in he morning. The item was on soon after, and Radio 4 only record their show from 7.00 am.


This week in future journalism
So to this last week includes:

  • An informative post about the journalist of the future from the BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones. Synopsis. Editors still want the pros, but having other skills help.
  • New journalist Damien Van Achter from the Belgian TV station RTBF gets flagged up after US State department offered him an interview with Sec of state Hillary Clinton, according the article.
  • Elsewhere, I have been talking about this for a while: the idea that you'll say something presumably innocuous only to find out you're being sued in the libel capital of the world, London.
  • Here's the BBC Today broadcast. Scroll down to 8.48.
  • And on Andrew Marrs political Sunday show, finally an issue that has blunts any attempt at journalism on London's streets.
Beware because police powers means they'll stop you in the name of Terrorism laws and demand you stop taking photos. You can see what happened to Financial Times reporters
when I was consulting with the group over video journalism and we got stopped on a story.

And finally reports the Telegraph why did the US fail to capture Bin laden when they could - a senate report asks. It couldn't be that he was worth more to US military resources now than he was back then because that would be a perverse thought.

"Removing the al-Qaeda leader from the battlefield eight years ago would not have eliminated the worldwide extremist threat," the senate report said.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

5 tips for job hunting. Did you know? New jobs for grads to exploit

International class of 06 contains a couple of newspaper editors, senior writers and web savvys running their own companies e.g.

Its the worst of times and the best of times.
Digital Awards winner David Dunkley Gyimah reports on creating your own job, which ultimately will have employers tapping you, as well as working with new companies, not in the traditional sense of paper-handling intern, but in influencing their digital media strategy.

This screw back corollary proves one thing, we've been here before, and cyclically, we'll come back again.

If you're a university grad it's cold comfort; if you're different in other ways, including ethnicity (Yep still!!) it can be an up hill struggle finding work.

You and Yours BBC Radio 4's consumer programme about youth and university unemployment made for grim listening yesterday but it wasn't too long ago that I remember upping sticks to South Africa to find work to avoid a UK recession.

In South Africa, I found work - back from the BBC in London, from the very departments that previously said "No thank you".

Lesson 1. It's not personal

How to find work
One of my bug bears, for those that know me is the paucity of industry-wide creative thinking in exploiting and creating new economies.

As a fellow Artist in Residence put it to me which led to him launching New Deal of the Mind, we'll get ourselves out of this recession by mining our rich creative talents.

The Did You Know, series takes poetic license when it says the following, but broadly speaking, SEO, Twitter, Videojournalism, were either absent or non-existent in 2004.

"The Top 10 in-demand jobs for 2010, did not exist in 2004"

There are broadly two streams of jobs on offer Traditional industries ( that mop up huge numbers and keep the economy going) Vs Emergent (experiment with new ideas, and drive the new economy before they themselves become traditional)

At my keynote talk to the UK chief executives in sport last week , I spoke about the hidden employee; the one you never knew you needed, because there is, as yet, no job description.

The New Journalist
Here IS their description:
  • Web savvy -well versed within the ecosystem of Net and various apps and websites
  • Read widely and want to understand processes e.g. Why does that work?
  • Has an understanding of audiences and behaviours on the web e.g. why text walls don't work in blogs etc.
  • Has an affinity for technology - e.g. open up word press; they don't understand, take out a book and then spend hours ( well spent) trying to understand.
  • Know how to write for the web - they blog. What makes a good article?
  • Ask lots of questions and feeds back lots of ideas. They share and consume.
  • They are both creative journalist and entrepreneurs. They'll do before asking.

Are you a new journalist?
If that's you or inching towards you, then I have been singing your praises and I'm thrilled to say there was a great meeting of minds, a singing from the same hymn sheet with various CEOs from my talk.

A couple have already sought new relationships with universities; you'll find on this video towards the end a delegate tells me he's taken it on board.

And others have been asking about the new journalist, the one who does all the above or wants to and can add new value to traditional and emergent companies.

Yes, it's not easy; that much I know and appreciate, and this is not something you turn overnight, but I have been fortunate enough to 'mentor' some people who have proved. "You can set your own agenda".

The question is who do want to work for and how badly do you want it? Because if you're a new journalist and have not started some of the above of your own volition, you're leaving yourself to greater competition in the market place.

What was it, please correct me, Radio 1: The number of young people wanting to work in the media - some 20,000. The number of jobs available in trad media on rotation ( people leaving for others to take their place) 2000.

Five tips for new journalists
  1. Study the present and what might constitute the future of the web, journalism and comms.
  2. Study those that have power and the ability to employ, and strike a relationship.
  3. Prove you're a cut above the rest by exploiting the web. Like you, many of us e.g. Rob Chiu started from zero knowledge. He inspires me. I might have developed but I know I am no where near the talents of others I have come across.
  4. Shift your job seeking focus from the end of your course, when everyone else is looking to a nearer time line
  5. Seek out the emergent and traditional. If a job doesn't exist, it's waiting to be made, but be sure in your mind, it's not about finding a job, but what value you bring to your new employee
p.s And finally connect, talk, connect, realise each other's skills and share. Believe that the more you train, the better you become. The more you desire, the more hungry you get.

This is a numbers game and you create your own luck, not now, but then.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Videojournalism Sports CEO Convention UK CCPR

Videojournalism Sports CEO Convention UK CCPR. I'm going to re post as the sound levels keep dipping and Youtube's recompression is affecting the aesthetics. Also need to rewrite and aston.

Media Exposure - how the media works

David talking to UK CEOS about how to make friends in the media with a resource like Precise. Latest video on the event here

Whoever coined the term must was most likely drifting off somewhere during a board room meeting: "Getting into the pants of the media".

But it's an apt, but coarse description for receiving media exposure and how the media works.

In effect, whatever news can be canned, ready to open at the right time, right day, relieves pressures in a newsroom and enables news outlets to plan ahead.

News is all about planning, David Brewer (Media Ideas Internationa) a friend will tell you.

He helped set up CNN online, BBC Online and Al Jazeera's web ambitions.

News outlets achieve this with a combination of skills in-house and then the rabbit-in-the-hat, providing advance notice - the agency forward planning diary.

Simply this is how it works, all the major events coming up including film premieres and embargoed items (news you can't say anything till the right time) is packaged into a data base.

And more importantly contains the name of contacts, yep the right person to talk to.

Looking at how to get an interview with the cast of "New Moon"? Exactly!

Newer Media workings
Most of the top news agencies subscribe, firstly to find out what's coming up and often to pick holes in their own news agendas.

Audience members at CEO convention

Often many news editors ignore the heaps of faxes and press releases filing into the newsroom ( yep sorry!), because they know they can subscribe to a service like Precise to do all the heavy lifting. And it is heavy lifting, believe me.

Even more interesting, rival news sources use it to ensure competitors aren't across anything they should obviously know about. News is a bit like a Meerkat colony- everyone's watching everyone else - which is why newscasts and the papers often carry the same content.

Twitter et al may be great for breaking in news and recycling it, but as things stand nothing quite comes close to being privy to a good forward planner.

At Channel One, it took our in-house forward planner ages to set one up. He'd been poached from the BBC.

At the BBC, where I worked on the likes of Newsnight and BBC Breakfast, different departments would hide their news agendas to ensure they had fresh news to report. Planners allowed them to think up nicely put together features.

Insight into media exposure
In recent times though the forward planner has broken free from the ranks of media, and news contributors are getting in on the act with their strategies.

Think about it. You're a CEO. You find there's a big debate on sports in a fortnight's time, so you ring the editor of one of the big media and kindly offer to provide a quote. Et Voila. You've just helped a journalist out and got yourself on the news.

Running parallel news strategies entails not just ringing up an ed, though that's crucial (Don't email yet; NEVER FAX ) but providing a trust quotient: Who are you? Are you on google? What does you website look like?

Understanding the ecology of news through planners provides you with a wider understanding of how media works.

And that could work for you too. Get planning.

David was talking to CEOs at a UK convention organised by CCPR - an umbrella body for sports bodies. Thanks to Sarah Wait from Precise for talking to the students at the University of Westminster.

Exchange ideas with David at redesigned and follow him on Twitter here

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Visioning with UK Sport body CCPR at their CEO Convention.

CCPR CEO's Convention Nov 2009,

"What did you think? I thought he was alright. Couple of things he spoke about I didn't quite get, but yes I think he provoked thought.

Actually I disagree, I don't think he went deep enough."

It's two weeks since the UK's sports umbrella body's big gathering on November the 18th/19th and execs are assessing the feedback.

I'm David but I thought what would it have been like to sit in the audience and listen to me, so briefly I have made up this pseudonym, Jason Edwards, from the federation of Touch Rugby, based in Falmouth, seated in the audience. Jason brings together some of the feedback I received afterwards. I guess the really bad ones would not have been said to me face-to-face :}

Jason Edwards writes
I liked the videojournalism. I hadn't heard of it before so that got me thinking, but I would have wanted more specific examples, but it was interesting to see how he conducted a live interview.

He covered a number of things, perhaps a bit too many, but I found I was cherry picking. Social Networks is something I already know about. I got the sense that he wasn't in favour of them or had issues, so I would have wanted to have known more.

I guess yes, its difficult when you're having to address members in which we're bound to have varying needs, but he seemed to know his stuff. He moves about on stage a lot, which for me was a little bit distracting, but that's a small matter.

My needs at the moment are not so much the use of these new tools, but its impact on our corporate policy. It's alright to look at these networks and say you need Face book, and Twitter, though David wasn't saying it that way, but we have to be careful with our brand and the way we communicate with traditional and new constituencies.

What would you give him, well probably an 7.5 - 8/10.

Jason's response, also blogged, found its way to David who posted this response.

David writes

Hello Jason,

It was good to hear your feedback and thanks for the grading :). I entertain all comments. It's what makes us, me, grow, so thank you.

I spent considerable time thinking about the pitch for this eminent event.

All talks have their different dynamics and so I donned my lecturing hat, media coat and artist shoes to work the room. The shoes, maybe that's why I walk around so much.

You probably didn't know this, but I had a couple of videos teed that were specific examples of sports, and more importantly would have, I hope, given you time to breathe in between my talking and perhaps reflect on some things I might have just said.

Videojournalism Sports promo video - see here for report on Channel One

Sadly a system Adrian, the technical wizzard, and I had worked out to trigger the tapes went South. And I got so deep in the zone that I missed the cues. Hahahaha Lesson learned for next time.

I tried not to go too deep as I figured that would be slightly unfair to those approaching this for the first time. However, lets continue to stay in touch, and hopefully we can share some mining-shaft stuff.

If anything there were a number of thoughts I wanted to get across.

  • That Social networks (SN) are not new, but as the in-thing at the moment require some thought. What do you want from your network if you plan to create one? Remember the unit currency for business, money, has been replaced by something else - your "free time" and "transparency".
  • Your payoff is having a relationship with your SN offline. Ask what you're giving to your new friends, what they want and what you're getting back?
  • Splintering is an obvious default of SN, as needs change within your dynamic fluid group that coalesces around needs. SN will reward you when you're giving them something, otherwise it's a dormant affair. Celebrities/VIPs provide the illusion of access into their private lives. Non-celebs may need something more tangible otherwise those huge number you amassed after your bril pronouncement might illustrate you have 1000s of friends, but that's about it.

  • That videojournalism offers a rich seam of visuals and films. And you can do it on any number of cameras, such as this one here the GY100 JVC.But VJ is NOT TV.
  • Train staff, but also consider setting up relationships with universities. There are media grads who you could empower to deliver something for you, that goes beyond the internship of "we tell you what to do"
  • And that mobile and the web will go much further than it is now ( see Reuters phone film) . 2012 is a date that will have more significance than just the Olympics.
  • Ultimately the future will be personalised TV, hyperlocal and Public visions (seen here on Apple). Kent TV presents an interesting case study in council TV, as does Swindon becoming the first large town to go wifi. The publicity alone they're getting may have been worth it all.

I promised Sallie Barker Head of Services for CCPR that I would write an executive report, which I will with video inserts from interviews and links to useful sites and strategic points, so do come back to me/ in about a fortnight's time, or less.

Cheers David

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Britain's digital future

Media expert Peter Bazalgette says the Guardian is in trouble.

Jeremy Hunt MP could be the next Secretary of State for Media, Arts and Sports, so it would be wise to listen to him as well as secure an interview.

I'm yet to work on the latter, but in between a panel discussion and drinks, that grey zone after a conference I managed to catch him for a few words.

Firstly, did he have any strategy for helping media employment with the many students who will graduate and find themselves competing in the jobs-for-the-boys-and-girls-market?

Secondly how would his strategy for sports differ from Labour in view of the ping-pong, indeterminate approach to sports the government has attracted from critics.

Crickets return to terrestrial TV seems to smack more of retribution to Murdoch than an honest plan say the detractors.

And Lord, good lord what's going there. You might as well sell Buckingham Palace

Big Digital Question
Both big questions said the shadow minister, trying to get away, nicely, before doing the Clinton touch reminiscent of Primary Colours.

"What's your name?", he asked, before repeating "David Dunkley Gyimah" and adding "google me for my email and send me an email".

Conference-afters, everyone wants to get away and when you're accosted by me - part geek looking, part soul-man-gone-wrong, sporting chinos, army walking boots and a tweed jacket - you sense the pace quickens.

I blame my parents for still looking like a 20-something, when I graduated uni more than twenty yeas ago.

This was a select crowd so I was thankful for the invite. The evening itself was empathetic of the big themes, even though wasn't time enough to drill into particulars.

Digital Highlights
But the highlights were as follows.
  • That Labour would not adequately address the issues of Net piracy, the digital levy for broadband and devise a proper strategy to saving the nation's ITV local news
  • Peter Bazalgette, a UK creative behemoth who launched Big Brother, argued we demand 10 million quid from the BBC and Channel 4 for new programme content and that he felt the conservatives would not downsize OFCOM.
  • He would also add that the Guardian newspaper were in trouble financially. Their success online presents "a double whammy" to their print form making money.
  • Sacha Deshmukh, a giant in media corporatedom looked forward to a bridged divide between gaming and TV.

I recorded part of the proceedings and will put that up later part of the weekend. Here MP Jeremy Hunt answers a saving local media.

Hunt's future of media was that the net would be tv and tv the net. Not so foolish, me on, after all.

p.s Thanks to Charlie Beckett for the invite.

An easy guide to Social Networks

Social Networks, now there's an interesting term, which you could be forgiven for believing is reasonably new.

Its rotation alone in the media would lead us to believe it is the "cure all", just as Marxism's proletariat uprising would cure society. Of course its much more complex than that.

More than a hundred years ago, academics started to probe this thing with more rigour.

German George Simmel could have advised today's fashionistas e.g. Posh Spice and P Diddy how they would wear Prada, but inevitably at some point tire to set up their own individualistic line.

Fashion is about becoming part of a social network, and then ultimately abandoning the group to lead a new one.

Much like most things in the arts, sciences and free love, it was the 60s when the frenzy to rival today's Social Networks took off - albeit behind university and corporate walls.

But you could argue social networks are as old society and politics. You only need to pop inside a museum to see that from the paintings of the Aborigines and words of Socrates or Hobbes.

Social Network Thinker
Thomas Hobbes' ideas, like many emerging thinkers of the 17th century feed straight into Social Networks.

Europe needed a way of settling disputes without drawing swords and Hobbes' perception of the Intelligent Commonwealth - was a social network of the highest order, er, ruled by a sovereign.

But one of the important point in Hobbes was the notion that we the people should give up private self-interests to get along.

And relinquishing private self interests today (privacy), in which the sovereign has been replaced by technology has never been so acutely discussed.

We are selfish, and protective; you wouldn't give your house away, you rarely, if any offer strangers a lift in your car. We're generous and giving, we react to disaster reliefs. We've always been networked.

When our ideals come together, when we're given a route to pursue first a self-interest which then correspondingly coincides with others ideas, the social network gets interesting. Note self interest doesn't have to be selfish.

Social Network theorists discovered it was better to have a wider pool of loosely connected people, than a smaller tighter group of friends to make a difference - something President Obama showed in his campaign.

So long as we can keep reinventing technology to meet our dreams: "Oh look an app to show how I can teleport my thoughts", a network, with no surface recourse to financial gain will subscribe. Uncontested bartering is the ongoing currency.

But we also know from history how cyclical the politics of networks are and already as I'll discuss some other time, we're beginning to witness fissures in these leviathans.

The above is an extract from a talk David is giving to a fortune 100 company

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In the future

A future of news. Some imteresting, some seemingly far fetched, but it would be a brave person to suggest pigs won't fly by 2020

Future communications and journalism

In the 1700s the government of the day laxed the laws on newspapers and the pamphleteers had a field day. The scenario is not so unfamiliar to today, except it's different institutions attempting control.

Talking at SXSW in January, I told a warm and generous audience who showed up to my 10.00 Saturday presentation that the rules of videojournalism, the nature of comms was still being rewritten.

It stands to reason really; we're in the pamphleteer era. New scions are making their mark, many are yet to. There will be chaos and upheaval until it gradually settles, but then it never will.

There are some standards: we like stories; we need commerce, but the currencies are changing. Stories are being devised in an assortment of ways. videojournalism neither exclusively news, nor docs is laying down its marker, whilst the oldest system of trade is gaining pace.

Bartering. Money will suffice. Murdoch wants it to, but it won't always be the method of exchange, we know that much. Stallman probably had no idea what all this would come to

A video magazine
When I built my site in 2004 I had a number of strong views; some have materialised as common themes: embedding video within a page, whilst others are yet to crystallise.

Apologies I'm not trying to be clever. But perhaps to illustrate how easy it was for traditionalists to be dismissive of ideas, when you did not have the tools or skill set to produce them. The rest is trend extrapolation.

A similarly trend extrapolated is video hyperlinking; embedded scanable links from XML driven TV, which can be stored, accessed etc. Deep drilling in video and accessing more of what we like, will get more interesting. If you're a TV show not carrying perma links, you will. TV always learns the hard way, from the newer media.

TV show making and its second shift aesthetic will be overhauled.

I've looked to congeal the years of radio, TV and print and ask what if? Firstly through a scientific methodology around my training as an Applied Chemist, then journalism and now through social sciences at SMARTlab and the Arts.

Fact is we're still in the dark ages of the web. History tells us that. Broadband speeds are still poor, despite our ambitions. Fathom what will happen at unlimited downloads- no constrains - actually 100mb first please.

Future Design
Think how the language of html to hxtml, will be ceded by xml. Design seven years on will have embraced a new renaissance, based around open spaces and mobile devices.

I mentioned that full blown video across the page would be the norm sometime ago. That didn't go down to well with some, but they were honourable not to throw eggs.

Next week I'll be sharing my views on the future of comms in a keynote with UK CEOs. I still subscribe to the comments on Apple's profile site that any attempt at predicting the future is a mug's game. But we can guestimate some intelligent trajectories.

I've amassed a number of interviews from key players to whom I grateful and will with some dispassion and academic rigour deconstruct those.

Content Analysis is producing some interesting ideas. There are also obvious holes in what we can plug e.g. our misuse at present of journalism grads and the methodologies for pushing forward online - finance evaluation.

The latter is a legacy of the dotcom boom when PE ratios meant nothing. Today, assets and liabilities still don't square up in modern nomenclature. Nine years on you'd think MBAs would have cracked it.

Meanwhile we continue to constrain a new system into an aging one. We do that for obvious job security reasons and the notion that it's better to modify, rather than entirely rebuild Rome. Furthermore how can you create what you're not completely sure of.

In some respect that's when art comes in. Whilst innovation without functionality is meaningless, this fluid period we see ourselves in combines artistic practice with a technology bent towards conceiving any number of ideas. Entrepreneurial indeed says Jeff Jarvis.

You begin to think we need to also reinvent a whole new vocabulary - it's happening. Our thoughts might turn to new modes of knowledge creation for a new generation - that's happening too.

And as we plough ahead, it's also worth looking back, farther back to contextualise. The past may not have all the answers we seek, but we deny its impact at our peril.

Those pamphleteers, some started to publish books, Defoe became one of the most celebrated journalists, many others went to the wall. We're not so different after all, but for sure it's not exactly the same.

David Dunkley Gyimah, academic, video journalist and artist in residence publishes next year looking at integrated video and videojournalism

Friday, November 13, 2009

Time Magazine's 2009 Best Inventions

Well it's their choice. Some good ones. The Blue Fin story is a much richer one that provided here.

There's a good write-up I picked up in Bloomberg London, inside their magazine.

Interesting segue for me is about this vide- free info. Cheap to make. A few drop ins and the chance to see inside the machine of Times, but should it be free to embed.

Not if you're Murdoch. Yes this isn't one of his.

I still subscribe to Times, nabbed by a free offer which has run over year on year. Truth I'm not a religious devourer of their site's content, so the mag helps at the gym etc.

Anyways some off-topic thought, here's Time's best inventions.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Performance Lecture

A performance lecture from Dr Leslie Hill, Director of studies at our practice-based PhD program

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Scream if you're brilliant

Nay worries. I'm decidedly mute.

I'm in our library, but it's awfully loud in here. I mean screamingly loud. It's in my head.

And when it calmed down and I decided to hit these keys, I thought:

The singular most powerful idea you have is YOU.

Now this sounds atypically oxymoronic. **** you might even think narcissistic, and best of times, stupid.

We spend our times chasing the tornado and each time it eludes us. It has to.

The quick fixes we search for, only fix a short term habit. The long term solutions require more thought, considerations and commitment.

Look, see, consider, share, act.

Ideas to share
The best idea is You because you know what it is that lights your fire. You're just, a bit like me, a bit flummoxed, how to find it. And when you don't know where it is, the best person to help you is the conversationalist.

Society got so ancy about it, they called them Psychiatrist ~ someone who evokes talk.

A room full of people - all with different needs. Some will inevitably leave a conference bitterly disappointed. Those that don't often attend in the first place to hear what it is that makes them think about themselves.

Scenario 2.

A room full of people, with the same aims. I'd just let them talk to each other, and then come to a consensus. Stand-ups do it much better. "Oi you, what's on your mind?"

In presentation, it's not what you've done for yourself, but what the people present, will do for you.

Twittering on
I speak at a fair few dos, and each time I think: "What it is I would like to know, seated in the audience". In shape shifting mode, I begin to wrestle with myself. Damn it hurts.

Tips here, facts there - all good, but the overall tempo has to be one where the presenter is giving, engaging, clarifying, and making You feel that the world will not come tumbling down on you because 0.7 secs ago, you had not been on twitter.

Or that google wave came and went and you missed the set.

Good CEOs and managers, I learned, leverage their strategies by allowing the flow of modules one at a time. And these often take weeks, months, but what they give you upfront is the ability to start thinking about the differences.

OK, stop!

Why does this matter, because frankly, you're not supposed know everything. Unless you're a self appointed polymath.

I bet Steve Jobs can't shoot documentary as well as you. My point explained. If you're a tweet king or queen, great. If your video skills aren't ace, don't beat yourself up, and vice versa.

Lizbeth Goodman, the Dean of our Phd programme refers to it as your plumb line and circle of influence. Your plumb line is fixed. That's the thing YOU do exceptionally well. It's your comfort, no matter what happens you keep coming back to.

I'm obsessed with visualisation and narrative. My mind works in visualisation the same way I think I speak. It's not rocket science, If I have made/cut/produced some (5)000 videos.

Now you see, if I want to go web design mad, codecs n' all - I know a thing or two about them - I'd have to forgo my love affair with film.

Am I bored? Or plain mad.

Your circle of influence says as you grow your knowledge, expand beyond the realms of your comfort, you'll absorb all this new stuff, but your circle of influence, where you can make a change is the core.

And frankly I'm happy with that. It has nothing to do with tunnel vision, narrowness, but that each step that elevates or comes down supplements your core skills or depreciates it.

In a couple of weeks I'm about to shoot a series of films that last 20 seconds inspired by twitter.

You gave me that idea through us talking. Thank you.

You, You, You.

Now that I have got that out of my system, it's time I went home.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Videojournalism's wasted opportunities

If you're looking to be truly inspired scroll down to the end.

This isn't a piece per
se, but observations from a talk I'm set to give to a group of CEOs .

In it I will talk about videojournalism (TV and Online) and the web-journalism movement.

While the web has made significant gains in an alternative and, now often, primary source of news info; we've learned a new nomenclature for writing and linking on the web, you could not universally claim the same for videojournalism.

The overarching criticism with TV news was and still is, in spite of impartiality rules, its heavily mediated. The choice of interviews, visuals and structure is heavily codified. The them versus us.

See for yourself. News simplifies an argument and relies on a small set of people, in its contacts, to inform you.

News by its language and vocabulary discriminates. Its a pros and cons.

Was videojournalism supposed to be an alternative to the status quo? You could be forgiven for thinking so. But what could we argue has videojournalism brought to the information table?

Are we talking background news, breaking news, or active news (news on-the-go)? How does videojournalism qualify its efficacy?

These are important questions and perhaps require a fundamental change in parameters to measure contemporary news' values.

And how do we do that?

And consider this? When we extricate ourselves from the oft-discussed discourse about cheap TV, what is videojournalism's usp?

I could name a few, but we're missing something, a big something.

Videojournalism is versatile tool, but its content quotient and driving force must depend on not just visual skills, but an in depth understanding at knowledge and content creation, made accessible by access to good content and its sources.

If not we relegate videojournalism to a second rate medium. It's there when you have no alternative or decide to run your station purely with features. Videojournalism's specialism calls on much more and in many ways needs re branding.

In the 80s Lucozade was a drink to repair the damage of illnesses e.g. common flu. A decade on it rebranded to a fluid to replenish the strength of athletes. Videojournalism-on-the-web's contribution needs an upgrade.

Thus far it's become synonymous with cheap. It's practitioners will understand that the quality of the pen comes from the sustenance of the journalist.

Great commentators aren't made by giving them a newspaper to write for, but a tenacity to engage with knowledge and rework the issues we face now in various context of their antecedents.

There are a great many individual videojournalists, but the form is yet to attain the status it deserves.

The soloist in the orchestra marks his position and relationship with the audience from years of toiling in the bigger band.

This does not mean we should discriminate as television did with its hierarchy, but be more self aware of how we intend to use our new found abilities.


posts script.

I came across this story as a RT @alexgamela 7 of the Most Inspiring Videos on the Web

This is not a solo videojournalism piece, but still undertaken by a small team. It is the ability of videojournalism to usurp the agenda and find rich stories like this, which I teared up to with joy, that makes videojournalism or should I say DVCam storytelling worth its weight. More bravo.

Belief conquers old. Boxing lessons Briton's Haye vs Russian giant Nikolay Valuev

David recalls the experience of mind over matter as one of the film makers of the heavyweight champion of the world, lennox lewis.

On an afternoon in the hotel, having just completed a morning shoot, ringside. My friend and exec producer delivered a boxing lesson redolent of life's experience.

I had dared uttered the statement: "If Lennox Lewis wins.....".

Kofi, one of Lenox's right hand men, literally flew of his chair in mild rage

"What do you mean, "if". David, there are no ifs here. You disappoint me".

He had reason to. I had been invited. In fact rephrase that: I had been hired by Lennox Lewis to be one of his documentarists.

If you could see me. I was the cat with the cream.

Many outfits and journalists had requested to be part of the inner sanctum of one of the most anticipated fights in contemporary boxing history: Lennox Lewis vs Mike Tyson, and I had ring side seats.

And now I was about to blow it.

Training days

Over the days watching Lennox train though something happened, I found myself in conversation with a journalist and to my own amazement was chastising him for very comments I had made earlier.

I had turned. No longer an objective bystander, I was now a believer. It was extraordinary. The evangelical belief inside Lewis' camp had an intoxicating affect and I was drunk.

Watching the build up to Haye's vs Nikolay Valuev, I might imagine that Haye was wrapped in his own inexplicable, but explosive, self-belief.

It seemed impossible and if anything there would have been a fair number of people whom I'd imagine would have wanted the Russian to shut him up.

But yes he did it. And the event brought back that sense of purposeful belief I came across during Lennox's fight.

Before the big fight Lennox takes a cat nap. He is a figure of serenity. And then with minutes to spare he walks through his tactic: jab, jab, punch.

The biggest stage was set for an explosive fight, but in many ways the fight had already been won in the head of Lewis' camp. The mind conquers all. A lesson we could all learn, a lesson that Haye punched home yesterday.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

videojournalism 2017

In this photo: Richard Vagg, Rachel Royce, Julia Caeser, Sacha van Straten, Marcel Theroux, Sacha Van Straten, David Dunkley Gyimah (photos | remove tag), Sally Greenwood, Seltzer Cole, Stephen Lee, Trish Adudu, Dan Stanton, Oni Battacharya, Paul Lewis, Amera Ziganii Rao, Rachel Ellison, Dan Roland, Tim 'The Beast' Woolgar, Steve Punter (photos), Kate Ashley, Richard Griffiths, Jonathan Frisbee
Pic courtesy of Rav Vadgama, himself a former videojournalist ( not in the picture) now a producer on GMTV.

Class of 1994 - UK's first Videojournalists.

In 2017, the Net landscape has flattened.

Broadband speeds average 500mb. HTML has been re-engineered. The ability to become your own netcaster is as easy as going to the supermarket.

And therein is the issue.

If there's a growing swell of video on the Net stations now, imagine what it'll be like in just under ten years time.

Madness comes to mind. Incomprehension, is another thought.

Will the primacies of the BBCs and ABCs still hold court? Will a white label of the BBC's I-player yield ever more hopefuls into a market teaming with talent?

Who can you trust?

In the last two weeks I have received five emails from potential global-wide TV Net stations, with their brand of videojournalism, looking to be crowned the "BBC" of the net.

Why BBC? Because it still sets a standard albeit aided by an increasing contentious funding model.

Will it be present in 2017 is any one's guess. But history has been here before. The Academy de Baux ruled the art world until the turn of the last century, when the Victorian videojournalists - the impressionists of Manet, Monet and Cezanne - stepped forward.

The rest has become the stuff of tireless studies.

By 2017 with any luck a generation should understand film like a vernacular akin to their mother tongue. You can't teach someone to speak their language, they learn it on the go.

Where they require a leg-up is in the structure of language and that has started now and will continue to enrich the medium.

We can't even be sure whether videojournalism will be usurped by the new new thing.

But trust and values will count for more.

Collisions at the South Bank
In January I have invited a figure head to our gathering at the South Bank who underlines the epitome of Trust.

He's well known on the screen. He has a Doctorate in the medium. He has shot many many docs. He has written many books that are studied. And, and he continues to make films, pushing at new edges. These are also guilt edge values.

I have much to learn from him in creating a fresh understanding that moves me further beyond what I believe I already know in my 25 years of a career and I'm damned excited.

In 2017 we will measure standards of knowledge by the the giants whose shoulders provided us the elevation or to Producers who know how to cook the elements together to nourish us.

In 2017 there will be many many more supermarkets and shop stalls set up proclaiming videojournalism or whatever it'll be called as the gold standard. Learn from us, and we'll guarantee you a job, some will say.

Already there is a move to set up a trade mark for endorsement, just as you might see ACE after a film makers name. How it'll work is any one's guess.

But part of the joy and to some frustration is that after a training session, every ones a videojournalist expert. Why not? If you're providing a service that others dearly need.

And so long as you can preach and practice the mantra that videojournalism is not a one-size -fits- all.

In 2017 when xml is probably ceded by a new language, what might determine how we invest in stories?

Storytelling par excellence
Character and Story construct will still rule. Some things will never change as the tablets of Gilgamesh show. Heroes and Villain's, Ups and downs.

I'm watching the Formula 1 story of Jensen Button as I write this. And if there's another thing the BBC does exceptionally well it is sports stories: a combination of accelerated cinema and arching narrative.

Button was the lone figure in F1 racing, and almost has been, destined for a last chance drive with an outfit who were not sure they could make the cut. On his penultimate race he was crowned the world champion. Magic!

Now time to tell the story - a skilled director who understands long format and how to cut into reels of tape with interviews and directed shots. It is not easy, but the best pull it off with ease.

In 2017 how many more of these will we, I, see?

I hope a lot, but it's not to be taken for granted. 2017 may produce a common new lingua franca for visual essays, but equally we'll need to be assiduous and mindful of pushing on the form now.

Will you ask what visual journalism will do for you or what you will do for it. The latter begs a bit more than proclamations of being the future of the form.